Paton will fail at addressing QB if Broncos can’t land Rodgers
In George Paton’s first offseason as Denver Broncos general manager, it looks like he’s done a great job building a solid roster for 2021. But that could all be a waste if he doesn’t land quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The quarterback position is the most important position in all of sports. To win a Super Bowl, you must have an elite quarterback to lead you to the promised land. Since Peyton Manning retired, Denver has yet to find someone adequate for their most important position.
Once Paton was hired as general manager, he said he was going to watch all of the film on young quarterback Drew Lock to see if he’s the guy who can lead Denver back to the playoffs and, eventually, a Super Bowl.
After watching Lock’s film, Paton consistently said the Broncos were going to bring in competition at quarterback. That was code for, “We need to find his replacement.” Paton doesn’t want competition for Lock; he wants to upgrade the position.
A source told me in February to watch out for Teddy Bridgewater being traded to the Broncos. It happened just one day before the NFL Draft.
Once the draft was over, Paton said his quarterbacks will “have a great competition.
“That’s what we wanted all along,” Paton said, adding he’ll continue to look to upgrade the room as well.
If Paton wanted this to be the quarterback room all along, why did he make an aggressive move to go after Matthew Stafford? Why was Paton going to attempt to trade for Deshaun Watson? Even the NFL Network’s Michael Silver writes the Broncos reached out to Andy Dalton before he signed with the Chicago Bears.
It’s clear Paton has been trying to upgrade the quarterback position. Stafford and Watson were not going to come in and compete with Lock for the starting job. The issue, though, has been Paton didn’t offer enough to land Stafford and wasn’t willing to go out and sign a veteran quarterback like Tyrod Taylor, Mitchell Trubisky or Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Broncos passed on all the available quarterbacks in the draft. Denver had an opportunity to draft any gunslinger they wanted except for Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson.
Paton said “quarterback was in play” before the decided to draft Pat Surtain ll. Could that mean they were interested in a certain quarterback if he fell to them at nine? Sounds like Denver might’ve been interested in Trey Lance if he was available.
If the Broncos were in love with a quarterback in the draft like Lance, they could’ve easily traded up to the third-overall pick like the San Francisco 49ers did weeks before the draft.
Hours before the draft, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers doesn’t want to return to Green Bay. Mark Schlereth of 104.3 The Fan also reported that Rodgers to Denver was close to a done deal.
Since then, nearly every NFL insider and reporter out there has the Broncos as the best fit, and possible destination, for Rodgers. Even the 2020 MVP’s fiancé owns a home in Boulder.
The NFL Network’s James Palmer reported Paton put together a package on night one of the NFL Draft to attempt to trade for Rodgers.
There is some speculation Paton and the Broncos didn’t draft a quarterback because their plan has switched to targeting Rodgers. Denver had two top-tier quarterbacks available while on the clock at nine — Justin Fields and Mac Jones.
The Packers front office has said they’re not going to trade Rodgers, but we’ve heard the same thing from Houston about Watson. Then, we found out the Texans were going to trade Watson one week before the draft.
A trade likely won’t come until after June 1, as the cap hit from Rodgers would be dramatically lower for Green Bay over the next two seasons.
If Denver was to make the trade, it could cost something like three first-round picks and maybe a later pick or a young star player.
Paton has had nearly every opportunity to upgrade the quarterback position. If the 2021 season starts and Rodgers is not the starting quarterback for Denver, Paton will have failed this season.
He will have also proved he’s fine rolling out Bridgewater and Lock with a roster that can win now.
The bottom line is Paton needs to trade for Rodgers so this franchise can get back to its winning ways.